Volume One Hundred Fifty

That’s one good teenage golfer!

Hittin' the LinksGood Monday to you and welcome again the Hittin’ the Links. What a week in golf it was! There was a lot of golf on television this weekend for the golf enthusiast, too much in fact to watch all at once. So HTL is here to give you the wrap-up on what you may have missed and whatever else interesting there is out there in the golf universe.

In this edition, we tie the knot with Greg Norman, check in on the new super teen of the LPGA Tour, see if Annika really is finished at the U.S. Open, and find out why it’s always about Tiger. Also, we investigate the rest of the tours around the world, see what Michelle Wie’s future has in store, tee off at this weeks golf destination, and find out why PGA tour stars just can’t seem to say “No Comment.” Read On.

Mizuno MP-57 Irons Review

Mizuno broadens their award winning MP irons lineup by offering golfers the cavity-backed MP-57’s.

Mizuno MP-57When I found out about Mizuno releasing a full cavity-back iron for their MP line, I must admit, I was pretty giddy.

I’ve long admired the MP line but knew I had no business playing any of them as I felt I just wasn’t good enough nor did I have the time to dedicate to practice enough to enjoy playing golf with them. No matter how nice a club looks, that beauty is not going to help you when your swing isn’t quite there.

Enter the MP-57 irons. Even though they are technically a full cavity-back iron, I was left to wonder when they arrived at my doorstep if they might still be a bit too much iron for my golf swing.

Read on to find out if a cavity-back iron could still produce that “buttery-smooth” Mizuno feeling while also providing a level of forgiveness for those of us who can’t dedicate hours at the range honing our golf swings.

What Will We Do Until Tiger Gets Back?

Tiger, Tiger, burning bright
We just can’t wait until your knee is right.

Trap Five LogoBy most accounts, it will be a minimum of seven months and as much as nine until Tiger Woods tees it up again on the PGA Tour. The suits in Ponte Vedra Beach (PGA Tour headquarters) and Orlando (Golf Channel) are on suicide watch. The networks are sweating their PGA Tour commitments, worrying about how many eyes will watch Tiger-less events.

Let’s face it: though we like tight tournaments and playoffs, we only really love them when the top guy is involved.

Don’t despair. Tiger will return. And until he does, it turns out there will still be golf to watch and play. Here are a few options to pass the time:

The Tiger Effect

Tiger’s absence opens a lot of doors for many of the world’s best golfers.

Thrash TalkThe golf world has had a week or so to recover from Tiger’s amazing performance at the U.S. Open as well as the announcement he will miss the rest of the 2008 season due to injury. Injuries to top athletes happen multiple times throughout the year, but in golf, an injury to Tiger Woods is huge news. No athlete dominates their respective sport like Mr. Woods (and I’m not forgetting Roger Federer either).

The news was devastating at first, and it still stings a little weeks later. The golf world will pick things up and move along for the remainder of the 2008 season, however, and Tiger’s loss will be other players’ gain. He will miss a lot of key events this year, and that leaves the door wide open for others. The finish to the season should be exciting after all.

The Tiger Effect is in full swing when Woods is playing, but it’s also in place when he is out of action. Take a look at some of the events affected most by Tiger’s absence, and let’s see who has a good shot to step up and gain some recognition.

Bunker’s Dozen: June 2008

Take a wild guess at who is number one this month.

Thrash TalkThe U.S. Open and McDonald’s LPGA Championship are in the past, and the rankings this month are weighted heavily by both. Tiger Woods played for the first time in two months, and he picked up his 14th major. His playoff win over Rocco Mediate provided more memories than golf fans can count.

Yani Tseng won the McDonald’s LPGA Championship in a playoff as well, although her victory was a little more surprising than Tiger’s. How high will Tseng be ranked after her impressive victory, and how will the rest of the rankings shake out? Keep reading to find out. If you have anything to add, please comment below or discuss it in the forum.

Odds and Ends Part II

Bag Drop goes all over the world to find you some equipment news.

Bag DropIt’s all quiet on the equipment front this week but I’ve got a few stories, opinions, and the like to hold you over (or at the least to provide a little distraction time at work).

This week’s Bag Drop takes a look at a new driver spotted, free stuff (with purchase), a major win for equipment manufacturers in the fight against counterfeiting, and a tale of “you just never know what will show up at the patent office.”

Volume One Hundred Forty Nine

Tiger is on the DL, now what?

Hittin' the LinksHello and welcome all you Internet golfing fanatics to, yet again, another issue of Hittin the Links. I am on the job bringing you the very best stories from around the internet, so sit back and relax.

In this volume, we delve into Tiger’s world and what’s going on with his knee, listen to what Retief Goosen has to say about it, and for goodness sake will someone please tell Johnny Miller to shut up! Also, we see what got Phil back into the Skins Game, check in on this week’s tour winners, and read some other interesting tidbits from the world of golf publishing. Read on!

Mizuno MP-T Series Wedge Review

With a revised sole grind and Mizuno’s patented Grain Flow Forging technique, the MP-T is a compelling wedge choice for good golfers.

The C Grind SoleDespite being known for making great irons and wedges, Mizuno has languished a bit in relative obscurity while irons and wedges from Titleist, TaylorMade, Callaway, and others have sold several times faster than those from Mizuno. Despite offering a pure, forged wedge, Mizuno doesn’t get a lot of play in the U.S. because, among other things, they pay very few PGA Tour pros to play their wedges. Go ahead, name a PGA Tour player (besides Luke Donald) who uses Mizuno? I’ll wait.

Partly owing to the lack of advertising via PGA Tour caps, visors, and bags, and partly due to the fact that Mizuno has tended towards producing clubs for the highly skilled golfer, Mizuno irons and wedges have a certain mystique about them.

I’ve spent a few weeks playing Mizuno wedges, and I’m happy to report that what lies beneath the mystique are some good looking, versatile, playable, and great feeling wedges. Let’s take a look at the MP-T series of wedges from Mizuno.

Nine Holes with Yani Tseng

Should Lorena be looking over her shoulder?

ProfilesAs I write this amid the hype following the U.S. Open, I can’t help but think back to the previous major. No, not the Masters, but the McDonald’s LPGA Championship.

If you missed the Lorena-Annika showdown at the LPGA’s second major, you missed quite a bit. Lorena was riding a two-straight-majors win streak. Annika was making what may well be her final appearance in the McDonald’s. The two most recent world number ones were each in contention down the stretch on Sunday. Everything seemed to be shaping up according to script at the turn, but the show was ultimately stolen by a 19-year old rookie named Yani Tseng.

Like Sunday at the Masters, the final round at Bulle Rock Golf Course in Havre de Grace, Md., was a survival test. Birdies were a rare commodity. Bogey, double, and worse lurked in the deep rough.